Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse
Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse

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Annotation: Adrian Simcox brags about owning a horse, and Chloe just knows he's making stuff up until she learns an important lesson in empathy.
Catalog Number: #167291
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Dial
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Illustrator: Luyken, Corinna,
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-7352-3037-4 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-2127-2
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-7352-3037-8 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-2127-1
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2017039673
Dimensions: 28 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Chloe's very skeptical about the stories Adrian tells about his big, beautiful horse ey live in a city, his house and yard are small, and she can tell from his clothes that he doesn't have a lot of money to spend on such an expensive hobby. When her skepticism turns mean and she hurts Adrian's feelings, her mother brings her to Adrian's house, and seeing him in his own environment helps her finally see his perspective. Luyken's dense illustrations feature expressive, crisply rendered figures set against lush backgrounds of sketchy, overgrown plants and fronds in warm autumnal tones, and in those backgrounds readers will see what Chloe struggles to notice until the very end of the book: Adrian's horse lives in his vivid imagination. Luyken hides horses in overlapping foliage and negative spaces early on, but it's not until Chloe stands in Adrian's yard and listens to him describe his horse that she finally sees it d, sweetly, she inadvertently helps shape it with a branch in her hand. A moving story about developing empathy, with beautiful illustrations to pore over.
Horn Book
Chloe doubts Adrian's imaginative claims that he owns a horse, considering he receives free lunch at school and has worn-out shoes. Expressive sketch-style illustrations rendered in ink, colored pencils, and watercolor feature mainly yellow and earth tones on abundant white space. The art pairs nicely with the thoughtful narrative to capture Chloe's transformation from mean-spirited skeptic to friend. Hidden equine figures provide additional interest.
Kirkus Reviews
A young girl named Chloe learns that, sometimes, it's more important to be kind than to be correct.The book opens to loosely drawn children of various ethnicities casually sitting around a long cafeteria table. Pale-skinned, carrot-topped Adrian Simcox sits far to the right, staring off into space. Text set above him declares: "Adrian Simcox sits all by himself, probably daydreaming again." The next spread—parents and children waiting for a school bus—shows the white narrator looking irritated as she witnesses Adrian telling "anyone who will listen that he has a horse." Chloe has used logic to figure out that Adrian is lying, and the text pulls no punches as she rattles off some of the ways she can tell Adrian could never afford to own a horse, including "the free lunch at school" and holes in his shoes. Chloe notices that Adrian looks sad after she finally accuses him to his face of lying, but it is her mother's ingenious use of showing—not telling—that brings Chloe to a new level of understanding. The tale is poignant and at times slightly humorous as well as frankly didactic. The art is an excellent complement, adding such dimensions as Chloe's mother fixing a bike; contrasts between Chloe's and Adrian's respective school desks and neighborhoods; brushy foliage that repeatedly reveals Adrian's imaginary horse.A good conversation starter for use with children who share Chloe's privilege. (Picture book. 4-7)
Publishers Weekly
Chloe scorns the stories that her classmate Adrian Simcox tells about having a horse since she knows they can-t be true: -He lives in town like me, and I know you can-t have a horse in town.- In warm, expressive ink-and-watercolor spreads, Luyken (The Book of Mistakes) paints Adrian, who -gets the free lunch at school,- speaking excitedly to rapt schoolmates. Adrian is lying, Chloe announces, and she sees that her words have -made Adrian Simcox really sad,- but her resentment persists. Then, while walking their dog, Chloe-s mother steers her toward Adrian-s neighborhood (-All the houses looked like they might fall down-), and the two children meet in Adrian-s garden, where Chloe realizes that, horse or not, Adrian has something rarer: the power of imagination. Newcomer Campbell explores with sensitivity the way Chloe opens her heart to Adrian, but the story-s perspective-privileged child learns to value less-privileged child-may limit readership and group use. Luyken-s delicate drawings add welcome depth, culminating in a final scene that makes magic from a tangle of weeds in Adrian-s yard. Ages 3-5. (Aug.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2 Chloe just wants the truth to come out about daydreamer Adrian Simcox and his tall tale of having a horse. He tells everyone at school about his beautiful pet and its white coat, golden mane, and gorgeous brown eyes, but Chloe knows it's all lies. You can't keep a horse in town, and besides, Adrian gets free lunch and has holes in his shoes. When Chloe's Mom has finally had enough of her daughter's indignation, she takes the child to visit Adrian's part of town, where Chloe learns that going along with a fantasy isn't so bad. While this tale offers a moral, it's not preachy; instead, debut author Campbell has penned a gentle, enjoyable story about accepting your friends as you find them. The story finds its perfect accompaniment in Luyken's The Book of Mistakes with this book's muted, fall-tone ink, colored pencil, and watercolor illustrations of Chloe and Adrian's school and homes, the town's beautiful foliage, and, of course, the beloved horse that's brought to life by the children's imaginations. VERDICT This warm tale and its exquisite illustrations is well worth a purchase. Henrietta Verma, Credo Reference, Jackson Heights, NY
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (6/1/18)
Horn Book (4/1/19)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (8/1/18)
Word Count: 648
Reading Level: 3.0
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.0 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 198611 / grade: Lower Grades
Lexile: AD600L
Guided Reading Level: R

A classic in the making, this heartwarming story about empathy and imagination is one that families will treasure for years to come.

Adrian Simcox tells anyone who will listen that he has a horse--the best and most beautiful horse anywhere.

But Chloe does NOT believe him. Adrian Simcox lives in a tiny house. Where would he keep a horse? He has holes in his shoes. How would he pay for a horse?

The more Adrian talks about his horse, the angrier Chloe gets. But when she calls him out at school and even complains about him to her mom, Chloe doesn't get the vindication she craves. She gets something far more important.

Written with tenderness and poignancy and gorgeously illustrated, this book will show readers that kindness is always rewarding, understanding is sweeter than judgment, and friendship is the best gift one can give.

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